• Patient Safety Awareness Week

Patient Safety Awareness Week, occurring between March 10-16, is an annual event dedicated to increasing awareness about healthcare and patient safety. During this week, many healthcare organizations raise awareness by promoting education, holding events to share information, and engaging in various activities.

Background

Over the past two decades, the World Health Organization estimates that over 134 million events have occurred each year due to unsafe care in hospitals, resulting in around 2.6 million deaths. Additionally, around 40% of patients experience harm in primary care settings, with 80% of these occurrences being preventable.

Some examples of unsafe care can include:

  • Medication Errors: Administrating incorrect medication, administering incorrect doses, failure to record allergies to medication, etc.
  • Surgical Mistakes: Incorrect procedures, misplacement of surgical items, errors with anesthesia, etc.
  • Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAI): Improper hygiene in the hospital, contaminated medical equipment, unsanitary conditions in the hospital, etc.
  • Communication Errors: Poor communication among workers and patients leads to misunderstandings and errors.

Studies have shown that as a result of these small preventable errors, there have been up to 250,000 to 400,000 deaths in the United States each year. Although not every unsafe practice has led to death, it can often impact one’s physical and emotional well-being, as well as personal finances.

How can I help?

  • Banners: Banners around the hospital can help spread awareness to physicians, staff members, patients, and parents.
  • Activities: Some hospitals created trivia activities to test staff knowledge; winners were given gift cards.
  • Interactive Talks: Talks about health equity, patient wellness, and care were given by local experts.
  • Posters: Hospitals highlighted patient incidents to raise awareness; quotes were placed around café tables.

Patient Safety Awareness Week serves as a vital reminder of the ongoing efforts needed to prioritize patient safety in healthcare. With millions affected by preventable errors each year, it's evident that continued education, awareness, and proactive measures are crucial in reducing risks and ensuring the well-being of patients. By promoting awareness, we can work together to create safer environments and improve the quality of care for all. Together, we can strive towards a future where patient safety remains at the forefront of healthcare practices worldwide.


To learn more, watch the video by the American Hospital Association.

About UCR Health

UCR Health is comprised of a team of physicians, specialists, and healthcare professionals dedicated to improving people’s health. With five medical offices located throughout the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley, UCR Health is growing to meet the healthcare needs of the region, bringing innovative, culturally sensitive medical care to the community. Established alongside the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside, UCR Health’s patient-centered primary care and specialty services deliver university-based healthcare excellence and innovation to all communities.